What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Republican Version of Bill Which Would Retain "Soft" Money Loophole to Allow Unlimited Flow of Money to National Parties. (2002 house Roll Call 33)
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Republican Version of Bill Which Would Retain "Soft" Money Loophole to Allow Unlimited Flow of Money to National Parties.
house Roll Call 33     Feb 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

Over the course of the 1990s, "soft money"-donations to parties not covered by caps on individual donations-had become one of the most significant avenues for corporations and wealthy individuals to gain access to the political system. Parties were supposed to use the money for "party-building" activities, but they had found ways to use it to support individual campaigns while staying within the letter of the law. The Shays-Meehan reform bill was designed to eliminate the soft money loophole, but it had to survive a series of alternative proposals offered by opponents of the bill. One of these-proposed by Ney (R-OH)-was not an amendment but an entire substitute for the bill under consideration. Unlike the Shays-Meehan version, it restricted soft money donations to the national parties rather than banning them entirely. Progressives opposed the bill because they supported aggressive reform and saw the Ney substitute as a watered-down version of Shays-Meehan that would complicate passage in the Senate. With the help of "no" votes from Progressives the Ney substitute was rejected, 181-248.

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